A List of Lists.

I like lists. Not just for their practical value, or even for that feeling of accomplishment you get when you cross something off one titled “To-Do,” but because they are never quite finished. You can always find more things to add to them, to make their scope more complete. Here are a few I made during particularly long conversations in Telugu I could not follow:

Things that don’t make sense after living in India (but that I probably will still do at home):

~ Throwing away edible parts of the chicken, like the neck or liver (Granted, I still can’t bring myself to eat the skin and fat like they do)

~ Driving alone, anywhere (Crowded autos make it cheaper for everyone!)

~ Calling Native Americans “Indians” (there are more than a billion people forgotten with this misnomer!)

~ Throwing away bananas with brown spots (banana bread and banana ice cream are of course acceptable alternatives if the bruises are too widespread)

~ Complaining about doing laundry…with a machine (At least the Indian sun is hot enough to dry the clothes quickly!)

What I look forward to at home:

~ constant power (and internet!)

~ sidewalks

~ traffic laws

~ adherence to traffic laws

~ black coffee (they add chicory here)

~ lots of people to talk to during the afternoon (an alarming number of people sleep during IST 1-6 pm)

~ walking down the street without being the subject of everyone’s gaze

~ opening a door without subconsciously expecting a lizard or cockroach to fall on my head. (This has happened way too many times)

~ warm showers (the cold water does feel great on bug bites though!)

What I (expect) I will miss:

~ Chai tea

~ Saris (even though they are hard to wrap, it takes less time to decide what to wear every morning!)

~ Constantly learning new languages (Telugu, Hindi & Malayalam: I’m looking at you!)

~ The compliments the kids give (not for the affirmations themselves, but for the students’ darling expressions: “Sari super, miss!”)

~ A lack of homework

~ Funny little quips about my pale skin

~ Walks to the market

~ Cheap groceries!

~ My wonderful, wonderful friends here.

What they Say vs. What they Mean:

~ “Resume” (pronounced like “We should all resume work now.”) = resumé (that job-seeking necessity I have yet to make…)

~ “You are so nice!” = “You look so nice!”

~ “Abortions” = Miscarriages (This one had me really confused, when I was told “She has already had 3 abortions, so she is desperate for a child.”)

~ “Tuitions” (Pronounced two-shuns) = Tutoring sessions (free ones!)

~ “She feels bad.” = She is offended/unhappy. (Not: She feels guilty.)

~ “byhearting” = memorizing

~ “We will start at 4!” = We will probably start sometime around 4:30.

– “Speak slowly!” = Speak quietly.

~ “I love you.” = I love you 🙂


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